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Protector Deity Palden Lhamo with Entourage
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Protector Deity Palden Lhamo with Entourage


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description With a roaring cackle and a deafening shriek, Palden Lahmo rides a flying mule across waves of blood and fire, wielding a menacing chopper, skull cup, and trident. Palden Lhamo, the protector goddess of the Tibetan city of Lhasa and of the Dalai Lama—the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people—was married to a bloodthirsty king. She warned her husband that unless he ceased inflicting misery on others, she would kill their only son. When the king refused, she carried out her threat: she murdered their son, skinned him, drank his blood, and then rode away on a mule using her son’s flayed skin as the saddle blanket. Delicately rendered in gold on a nearly black background, the composition requires a sustained gaze to distinguish the figures of Palden Lahmo and her companions from the flames, smoke, and mists that encircle them.
Exhibitions
  • Desire and Devotion: Art from India, Nepal, and Tibet in the John and Berthe Ford Collection. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong. 2001-2003.
Provenance Stuart Perrin, New York; purchased by John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore, March 25 1984.
Credit Gift of John and Berthe Ford, 2019

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Creator
Period
late 17th century
Medium
paint and gold on cotton
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
35.327
Measurements
H: 41 3/4 x W: 20 in. (106 x 50.8 cm); Framed: 42 1/2 × 26 × 2 in. (107.95 × 66.04 × 5.08 cm)
Geographies
  • Tibet (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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